For the Record, Video Lenders Are Not Predatory

So this past weekend, in a sincere attempt to do my part for the financial industry (I mean, besides the baffling purchase of waify denims), I tried to start a one-woman revolution and reignite the video rental boom of the 1500s (ok, it wasn’t that long ago, but let’s be painfully honest, I would qualify it as somewhat ancient).

First I headed to a neighborhood staple, Ye Olde Box Office Video [Museum], only to find the whole place shuttered and papered. That was a rude awakening to say the least. What about my $1 movie bin?! Unspeakable outrage. I made a mental note to write a letter to the government with my new quill pen about the obvious infringement on my civil liberties.

Next I went to the Blockbuster Video [Museum], clear on the other side of town (a day’s journey minimum by [miniature] horse), in the hopes of somehow unearthing a relic to watch on my old-timey crank-and-release VCR (stands for Varicose Curmudgeon Rubbish).

No, I said the sign was not lit up.
photo courtesy of Flickr and travdir

Good news! It still existed. The sign was no longer lit up because cutting costs is cutting costs, but there were still tapes and DVDs and newfangled Blu-Rays to be borrowed and lent.

The place was similar to an adult movie/novelty store in that no one wanted to make eye contact with anybody else, and everyone kept mostly to themselves. But hey! That’s the cost of progress wearing a few dabs of eau de recession behind its ears.

Boyfie and I quickly made a no-nonsense selection, but alas, when we tried to make our getaway, I was informed, ever so callously, by the customer “service” representative, that I had no existing account with Blockbuster (more like Ballbuster, h’am I right?!). I know I did at one point, but that was centuries and centuries ago when I was still in my larva state.

My goodness, it appears this antiquated contraption is made out of papyrus and tree sap.
photo courtesy of Flickr and Joe Shlabotnik

So of course I signed up for a new account, with all the rights, privileges, and indignities set forth therein. After shamefacedly having to reveal such monstrosities as my driver’s license photo (you should see it…on second thought, you shouldn’t), my phone number, and emergency contact info (kidding), I was finally allowed membership in the probably-as-of-now-defunct club of elite entertainment rental cardholders.

And now, for the saddest part of all, the clerk gave me my “card” if you will, but, and these are his words, not mine, “Our laminating machine is broken right now, which is why your card is just this paper, but if you bring it back in next week, we can laminate it for you then.” Oh, the injustice!

“This paper” was a generous way to describe what he gave me. It was a flimsy scrap similar to a paltry sales receipt, still curling at the edges akin to a stubborn bottle label. It made me realize how very little plastic separates us from being savages and gentlefolk.

In any case, I choose my battles carefully so boyfie and I picked up our 2-day rental artifact, blew the dust off of it, and left. We would watch it by candlelight! We hardly had a choice.

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